Adam Lambert Talks Returning to American Idol Stage 12 Years Later

By Samantha Bergeson Oct 12, 2021 4:22 PMTags
Watch: "Clash of the Cover Bands" Coming to E!

Back and better than ever!

Adam Lambert returns to his reality singing competition roots—but this time as a judge for E!'s new series Clash of the Cover Bands, premiering Wednesday, Oct. 13. The Queen frontman joins fellow superstars Meghan Trainor and Ester Dean to mentor cover band contestants seeking $25,000 and the opportunity to appear in-studio for a musical performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Artists covered this season include Aretha FranklinBlink-182Bon JoviBritney SpearsCarrie UnderwoodCéline DionColdplayDolly PartonElton JohnLady Gaga and U2

"I'm kind of partial to the divas," Lambert exclusively told E! News. "I think that's sort of my soft spot. We had a Britney, a J.Lo, we had a Céline [Dion], we had Tina [Turner], we had Dolly [Parton]. These are  iconic women." 

The self-proclaimed "music nerd" called the experience of filming Clash "crazy"—and not just because of the competitors' doppelgänger performances

Clash of the Cover Bands Judges' Concert Pics

"It was so crazy because we filmed this show on the same exact stage and studio as American Idol," Lambert explained. "So walking backstage into the studio every day was just so surreal. That was what, 12 years ago? That's where everything started for me."

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Lambert continued, "That was very cool. I enjoyed that full circle. And it made me keep in mind that when you get up on stage and you perform and you give it your all and you're putting yourself out there to be commented on by three people at a desk in front of you, it's not always the easiest thing."

Lambert was the season 8 runner-up of American Idol, and that experience has today informed his Clash coaching style.

"It's tricky and it takes a lot of bravery," he admired the Clash contestants. "I definitely kept all that in mind when I was talking to the different performers and tried to be constructive and yet sensitive to the journey. I think everything was really a good sport."

Clash of the Cover Bands Contestants

Now, the "Velvet" singer has a two-weekend residency at the Venetian in Las Vegas with an additional livestream special on Friday, Oct. 29. 

Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

"It's a special set list put together for this time of year, Halloween being at the end of the month," Lambert gushed. "I'm very excited. It should be fun. I'm not doing costumes per se, I'm not dressing up in a Halloween costume but I'm definitely giving you like a dark, goth, creepy, spooky vibe. Like modern witch-slash-True Blood, but no fangs. But who knows? I might get inspired by the last show. I don't plan everything in advance." 

Could a Lambert cosplay competition be next on the docket? Sky's the limit for this powerhouse Idol.  

For more information on Lambert's Venetian performances, click here.

Look out for the COCB truck this Friday, Oct. 15 in L.A. and NYC followed by a special Clash of the Cover Bands concert at CityWalk Universal Studios Hollywood this Saturday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. PT.